CHIPMAKER Intel has launched its first Sandy Bridge E processor, the Core i7 3960x Extreme Edition.
For those after the ultimate peak of performance, Intel's latest processor has six cores and a base clock speed of 3.3GHz. It has Hyper-Threading technology and with Intel's Turbo Boost 2.0 the chip jumps to 3.9GHz.
Intel's latest and greatest comes with 15MB of Smart Cache but requires a new motherboard with the LGA2011 socket based on Intel's X79 Express Platform Controller Hub. It has twice the memory bandwidth as the previous Core i7 990x with its four memory channels.
Intel said, "The [second] generation Intel Core i7 processor Extreme Edition is the perfect engine for power users who demand unparalleled performance for unlimited digital creativity."
A second six core chip, the Core i7 3930K has a clock speed of 3.2GHz, a 12MB cache and can reach up to 3.8GHz using Turbo Boost 2.0. Both chips have unlocked multipliers for overclocking and, for the first time, four memory channels.
A third Sandy Bridge E chip, the Core i7 3820 will be a quad-core chip clocked at 3.6GHz. However, it will only be partially unlocked with a maximum core multiplier. All three chips have a thermal design power (TDP) of 130W.
These processors are aimed at power hungry users with deep pockets, as the chips are priced between £479 and £839. µ